“Not Guilty!” Governor Waititu Pleads as Senate Impeachment Inquiry Kicks Off
The Senate, presided by Speaker Rt Hon Kenneth Lusaka, Tuesday began hearings into the proposed removal from office, by impeachment, of Kiambu County Governor, Hon Ferdinand Waititu.
At the crux of the impeachment trial are three charges against Hon Waititu to which he entered plea of “Not Guilty” upon recital of charges by the Clerk of the Senate, Mr Jeremiah Nyegenye. The charges leveled against him by the County Assembly of Kiambu include: gross violation of the Constitution of Kenya and various statutes, Crimes under National Law and Abuse of Office.
The morning session set the stage for the two-day Special Sittings where Senators, who in essence are serving as jurors in this inquiry, heard Opening Statements on behalf of the County Assembly and the Governor.
In its opening statement the County Assembly submitted that at the end of the investigation, they’ll adduce evidence linking the Governor’s conduct and the alleged gross misconduct.
“It is not enough for us to demonstrate that there were violations, we must be able to demonstrate that those violations are directly linked to the conduct of the Governor,” said Njoroge Mungai, Counsel for the County Assembly.
On their part, the Governor’s Counsel asked the Senate to protect Governors from “marauding assemblies who might seek to deploy impeachment for their own selfish motives”.
Speaker Lusaka reaffirmed the Senate’s commitment to impartially hear the trial.
“I would like to assure you that the Senate is cognizant of the gravity of the matter with which it is seized and shall accord the parties a fair hearing,” the Speaker said.
Having heard the presentation of the case by the County Assembly Tuesday afternoon, the Senate shall Wednesday 29th January, hear the case as presented by the Governor before proceeding to vote on each of the charges.